LEXINGTON — After sleepwalking through much of their opening-game loss to Pulaski County on Friday in Kentucky Basketball Academy Summer State Tournament, the Harlan County Black Bears bounced back Saturday with a 81-61 rout of Tates Creek followed by a 65-54 win over Mercer County, the defending 12th Region and AAU state champions.
Cameron Carmical scored 27 points, Treyce Spurlock tossed in 13 and Tyrese Simmons added 12 to lead the Bears against Tates Creek.
Spurlock had nine points in the first quarter and Carmical added seven as the Bears got off to a fast start, building a 24-11 lead. The Bears’ advantage grew to 44-22 by halftime as Carmical scored 12 of the Bears’ 20 points.
Baskets by Spurlock and Simmons and free throws by Carmical and Drew Nolan helped HCHS get off to a fast start in the second half. Carmical hit a 3-pointer, David Turner scored inside and Tyrese Simmons added two baskets as the lead grew to 31. Nolan’s putback and Carmical’s three-point play gave the Bears a 66-33 lead after three quarters.
Turner and A.J. Simmons scored five each for the Bears. Nolan, Gabe Price and Patrick Bynum added four points each. Andrew Creech scored three. Alex Pace and Matthew Simpson added two each.
Spurlock poured in 26 points to lead the Bears against Mercer County. Carmical and Simmons added 18 and 12 points, respectively. Creech scored six and Nolan added three.
After several lead changes in the early going, HCHS closed the quarter with a 3-pointer and a jumper by Spurlock to go ahead 23-18.
Carmical hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Bears went on top to stay, building a 36-28 halftime advantage with the help of two baskets on putbacks by Simmons, who led the Bears with nine rebounds.
Harlan County’s lead grew to 12 by the end of the third quarter as Spurlock added two more 3-pointers and Nolan and Simmons each hit jumpers.
The Black Bears built a 17-point advantage late in the game as Spurlock and Creech had two baskets out of the spread offense. Several of the baskets came off passes by Carmical, who led the Bears with 10 assists.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134